Benefits of a fine line additive PCB process

The traditional subtractive etch process for manufacturing printed circuit boards becomes much less reliable when working with features that are sub 1 mil.  There has been a new additive process developed that uses a precursor ink to break through these barriers and meets four market needs:


1.  Fine line (< 25 micron) Additive (Rigid and flex PCB)

  • Precursor ink makes the additive process practical
  • Additive process makes the fine lines practical
  • This process works well with existing manufacturing equipment
  • Cost savings over conventional processing can be 35%-60%

2.  Via excellence (Rigid PCB)

  • Precursor ink is the key advantage
  • Reduces electroless usage by 60% or more
  • Reduces the use of water by 60% or more
  • Lower cost than conventional processing

3.  Stacked microvia excellence (Rigid/Flex PCB)

  • Better results than conventional processing
  • Precursor ink is the key advantage
  • Eliminates the need for sequential lamination
  • Cost savings can be 20%-30%

4.  Selective via plating (Multilayer rigid PCB)

  • Precursor ink and ink blocker are the keys
  • Eliminates the need for sequential lamination processing
  • Cost savings can be 20%-60%

This process can be used as a stand-alone technology or in conjunction with the traditional subtractive etch process.  Please contact us if you are interested in learning more!

Flex Circuit Shielding Options

Shields are often needed when an application requires limits in electromagnetic interference/radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI)  or to fabricate low-voltage circuitry.  Shields are material around a conductor or a group of conductors that limit these factors.


 There are several options to consider with flexible circuits:


 Solid Copper:  Solid copper is the most common method of shielding.  Copper shield can be put on one or both sides of the circuit.  Solid copper can also cover selective conductors.  Solid copper shields increase the rigidity of the circuit, and should be included in the thickness to bend radius ratios.


 Crosshatched Copper:  Crosshatching is an artwork design that relieves much of the copper shield areas by the use of a pattern.  Crosshatch shielding can also cover selective conductors.  It helps the circuit to retain its flexibility and can be put on one or both sides.


 Conductive Silver:  Conductive silver can be substituted for copper for shielding purposes in some applications.  Silver can be a solid or crosshatched shield and can be put on one or both sides of the circuit.  It can also cover selected conductors only.  Silver shielding is not recommended for dynamic flexing applications due to its brittle characteristic, and may be prone to cracking in severe bending applications.

CONTACT US with any flex or rigid flex design questions.  We are here to help!

.4 mm device routing – PCB

Here is an example for routing a .4 mm pitch device:

Streamline .4mm device routing

Outer Layer With Quadrant Dog bone

DUT Pad .25mm

Via Pad .2mm

Laser Via .125mm


.1mm, .125mm, .175mm

Contact us for additional information:

Tara Dunn, 507-332-9932,

Circuitry on a balloon catheter

Advantage to Additive Fine Line PCB manufacturing process:

Medical Device: Circuits on balloon catheter
Need: fine line and spaces (<25 µm) on flexible substrate
Benefit: Reduces cost by integrating circuit function with catheter function
§Unit size is about 1 cm X 2 cm
2 µm copper, single sided
10 µm lines and spaces
Contact us to learn more!
Tara Dunn, 507-332-9932,

IPC and MIL SPEC for Printed Circuit Boards

There are two types of specs commonly used in the PCB industry: IPC and the MIL Spec. Here is a handy reference guide:


  • IPC-6013 – Qualification and Performance Specification for Flexible Printed Boards
  • IPC-T-50 – Terms and Definition
  • IPC-MF-150 – Metal Foil for Printed Wiring Applications
  • IPC-FC-231 – Flexible Bare Dielectrics for Use in Flexible Printed Wiring
  • IPC-FC-232 – Specification for Adhesive Coated Dielectric Films For Use as Cover Sheets for Flexible Printed Wiring
  • IPC-FC-241 – Flexible Metal Clad Dielectrics for use in Fabrication of Flexible Printed Wiring
  • IPC-SM-840 – Qualification and Performance of Permanent Solder Mask
  • IPC-2221 – Generic Standard on Printed Board Design
  • IPC-2223 – Sectional Design Standard for Flexible Printed Boards
  • IPC-4101 – Laminate/Prepreg Materials Standard for Printed Boards
  • IPC-6011 – Generic Performance Specification for Printed Boards
  • IPC-6012 – Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards
  • J-STD-001 – Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronics Assemblies
  • J-STD- 002 – Solderability Tests for Component Leads, Terminations, Lugs, Terminals and Wires
  • J-STD-003 – Solderability Tests for Printed Boards
  • J-STD -004 – Requirements for Soldering Fluxes
  • J-STD- 005 – General Requirements and Test Methods for Electronic Grade Solder Paste
  • J-STD-006 – General Requirements and Test Methods for Soft Solder Alloys and Fluxed and Non-Fluxed Solid Solder for Electronic Soldering Applications


  • MIL-P-50884 – Flex Manufacturing and Performance
  • MIL-STD-2118 – Flex Design Standard
  • MIL-STD-105 – Sampling Procedures and Inspection Tables
  • MIL-STD-129 – Marking for Shipment and Storage
  • MIL-STD-130 – Identification for Marking
  • MIL-STD-202 – Test Methods for Electronic Equipment
  • MIL-STD-2000 – Soldering and Assembly
  • MIL-STD-45662 – Calibration System Requirements
  • DOD-D-1000 – Engineering Drawings
  • DOD-STD-100 – Engineering Drawing Practices
  • ANSI-Y-145 – Dimensioning and Tolerancing
  • MIL-S-13949 – Plastic Sheet, Laminate, Metal Clad (for PWB’s)
  • MIL-C-14550 – Copper Plating (Electrodeposited)
  • MIL-I-43553 – Ink Marking, Epoxy Base
  • MIL-G-45204 – Gold Plating (Electrodeposited)
  • MIL-I-45208 – Inspection System Requirements
  • MIL-Q-9858 – Quality Program Requirements
  • MIL-P-81728 – Plating Tin Lead (Electrodeposited)
  • MIL-P-55110 – Printed Wiring Boards
  • QQ-N-290 – Nickel Plating (Electrodeposited)

Please contact us with any questions!  Omni PCB – Your PCB Advisors

Sub 1 Mil Line and Space

Breakthrough in fine line metallization

IC packaging and high end applications are driving the need for finer lines.  Conventional (subtractive etch) processing has a hard barrier at 25 micron resolution.  Omni PCB is now working with an additive approach that can achieve fine lines and thin copper, less than 10 microns.


  • ·         Fine line ( 5 microns) to wide line (250 microns)
  • ·         10 micron vias plated through
  • ·         Copper  thickness from .1 to 10.0 microns
  • ·         Substrates with thickness of 50,25, 12 microns or less
  • ·         Single circuits or panels of up to 18” x 24”
  • ·         Coat pre-drilled via walls


 What is it? 

  • ·         Truly Additive Metalization
  • ·         Print-and-Plate Copper Circuit Patterns
  • ·         On Thin Substrates
  • ·         True Adhesiveless Copper
  • ·         Fine Lines and Spaces
  • ·         Ultrathin Copper Capability
  • ·         Copper Thickness Made To Order

Contact us to learn more!!!

Tara Dunn  507-332-9932  

Elizabeth Foradori  856-384-1300




Zeta Materials

Zeta Materials ~ This changes everything!

Following is a brief overview of  Zeta materials.   If you have a need for a thin, fine line application or are looking for a solution to a pad cratering problem, contact us to learn more!

 First Imagine:  8 layers of Zeta Lam in a 10 layer PCB ~ Total thickness – 16 mils. 

Enabling next generation HDI.

The power of 50 microns at only 12 microns – harness the power of thicker boards in ultra-thin boards that are only 25% as thick.

Zeta glass free films provide less than 25 micron dielectric in a multilayer HDI package.
  •  Dk – Cap – 2.97 @ 10 GHz     Lam – 3.15 @ 10 GHz
  •  Df -  Cap – .006 @ 10GHz      Lam – .010 @ 10 GHz
  • Decomposition Temp – Cap > 500 C      Lam – 400 C
  • Glass Transition Temp -  180 C
  • Thermal Conductivity – Cap – .043 W/mK     Lam – .51 W/Mk
  • Low Z-Axis CTE
  • Low Moisture Absorption
  • Dimensionally Stable

Eliminates Pad Cratering

Pad cratering is a mechanically induced fracture in the resin between copper foil and the outermost layer of fiberglass of a PCB.  The pad remains connected to the component leaving a “crater” on the surface of the PCB.

Zeta Cap virtually eliminates pad cratering.  Once laminated to the surface as a cap, the resilient layer acts as a shock absorber to prevent fracture formation.   This material is more flexible than rigid, but 3 times stronger than flex.   Contact us for more detailed information!


Zeta Cap:  Next generation C-stage dielectric film designed to interface between the copper pad and the rest of the PCB.  It’s unique liquid-cast polyimide film is bonded to copper foil.  The ultra-thin film lays-up like a copper foil on prepreg in a conventional PCB manufacturing process.

Zeta Lam: Next generation dielectric film that facilities HDI build structures and minimizes the risk of pad cratering.  LAM is formed by laminating Zeta CAP to Zeta BOND, a proprietary B stage bonding film.  It acts like a glass dielectric in a conventional prepreg but is ultra-thin with guaranteed copper-to-copper Z axis standoff as thin as 12 micons.  It’s low CTE, High Tg and high Td make it suitable for sequential lamination cycles and higher-layer HDI structures.

Zeta Bond:  B-stage bonding film capable of filling circuits and vias.

If you are facing challenges with your new generation HDI designs or have pad cratering issues, please contact us for more information!

 Click HERE to email us for additional information.